We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven and Jennifer Gaughran and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven and Jennifer, what matters most to you?
We have two driving values for “The Adventures of Red Knight”: (1) Stories for kids shouldn’t be simple or stupid. (2) From the very beginning we wanted to keep our podcast ad-free; we aren’t comfortable selling things to kids, especially when we have no control over the ads themselves.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
“The Adventures of Red Knight” is a podcast designed to be enjoyed by the entire family. Too often as a parent you’re forced to sit through an endless stream of mediocre, inept storytelling. It doesn’t have to be this way! As Rod Sterling once said, “Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.” This is just as true for kids as it is for adults. “The Adventures of Red Knight” is my first professional creative outing, and I’m very gratified that it has been as well-received as it has. None of it would have been possible without the family’s support. Making a podcast is not a quick and easy process, and everyone has been more than generous with their time and feedback. I am a stay-at-home father. Previous to this, I was a proofreader and editor in the life science field. While the money was certainly welcome, it was terribly grinding, and it got to the point that I couldn’t even stand the thought of reading after work. For someone who would frequently tear through several novels a week, this was a Bad Thing. After Jennifer and I had children, we had One Bad Week, where ALL of our childcare dried up at the same time. Forced with the choice of spending a small fortune every year on childcare or living on a single income with a dedicated parent at home, we decided upon the latter, and I quit my job. We tightened our belts and went on a very strict budget for several years. Frankly, while it was extremely challenging in many respects, it was the best thing we could have done. It provided us with flexibility that has proven invaluable in both our personal and professional lives, and has also been good for our children. After both of the kids entered school full-time, I was able to pursue writing full-time. In addition to “The Adventures of Red Knight,” I wrote a 130,000-word young adult novel that is currently being edited.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Steve – Nico’s in Ocean Beach. Everyone in San Diego has their favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican food joint, and this one is mine. I grew up in Ocean Beach, and as a kid I would rollerblade there twice a week to pick up food for my family. Jennifer – The Farmer’s Market in Little Italy on Saturday. There is so much to love! The view of the harbor while walking through the Piazza. Artisan, fully organic delicacies you can eat. Street music. I always buy a ton of fresh produce, and the fruit is to die for! Steven and Jennifer – If you have kids with you, the San Diego Zoo is hard to beat. You could spend days there and not see everything! If you have company in San Diego you have to take them to the beach, right? However, the beach you take them to will really depend on your guest’s personality. Do they want a real beach rat experience? OB. Party? PB. White sand and chill? Coronado. Cliffs and caves? La Jolla. Hiking? Torrey Pines. You can visit a new beach every day and experience something totally different.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our kids, Gwinna and Sam. We created this podcast for them. We are constantly delighted by their humor and intelligence, and they are wonderful storytellers themselves!
All photographs were taken by Jennifer Gaughran.